Friday, August 21, 2009

RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU’RE GLAD YOUR SCHOOL DIDN’T HIRE JOHN CALIPARI

Sorry, Kentucky, you’re votes don’t count.

Calipari, who was wooed by N.C. State among others, now has his last two trips to the Final Four voided.

The NCAA announced Thursday that Calipari’s Memphis team will have to forfeit all of its 38 wins and its appearance in the NCAA championship game in 2007-08. Memphis was found to have given approximately $1,713.85 in impermissible travel benefits to the brother of a player and to have had an ineligible player on the team we won’t name here (Derrick Rose).

The NCAA did not consider any allegations against Calipari and made no finding against him personally. Paul Dee, the former Miami athletics director who chairs the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, said Calipari was helpful and responsive when he appeared before the committee.


The only effect this case will have on Calipari is to expunge the wins and Final Four appearance from his record that season. So now Calipari has Final Four trips vacated in 2008 with Memphis and 1996 with Massachusetts.

Except for bad publicity and losing yet another trip to the final four – Calipari’s 1996 Umass team has already forfeited a Final Four appearance – there doesn’t seem to be much direct impact on the Wildcat’s new head coach. Calipari has put together one of the best recruiting classes of all time.

SPEAKING OF THE SUITS IN KANSAS

The NCAA’s Division I Legislative Council has been asked to vote on banning schools from housing their football teams in hotel rooms on the night before a home game, the NCAA News reports.

According to The Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, N.C. State spent over $85,000 on pre-game hotel rooms prior to home games. During the same period, Clemson paid over $111,000, including $47,230 just to transport its team back and forth from the hotel in nearby Anderson, S.C.

While Coach Dadgummit at Florida State suggested eliminating the home game night away from home hotel stay, the other ACC coaches seem to favor Friday night hotel stay as does Skip Hotlz of East Carolina. They say it’s difficult for players to get a good night’s sleep on a Friday night because neighbors their rooms are in dormitories and it’s…well…Friday night.

"When you put them in a dorm and ask them to live on campus on a Friday night of a home football game, that’s not exactly the environment to get eight, 10 hours of sleep," Holtz said Monday.

"Everybody else gets to sleep in until noon and wake up and start tailgating again and go to the game. The players have to be in the meeting at 8 o’clock."

Lively debate to follow.

NCAA TO LOSE HEART IN GUEST APPEARANCE ON HBO’S TRUE BLOOD

A top official at the NCAA said a court ruling Thursday that documents dealing with cheating at Florida State are public records sets a precedent that will "rip the heart out of the NCAA" and its efforts to ensure competition is fair and equal.

Nice, Judge Cooper (FSU, 73), NICE!

David Berst, the NCAA's vice president for Division I, said few witnesses other than school officials and employees would be willing to tell what they know about cheating, whether in recruiting, academics or other areas, without the promise of confidentiality.

"We could see copycat efforts in other states," Berst said. "Yes, I believe that would rip the heart out of the NCAA."

His comments from the witness stand came soon after Circuit Judge John Cooper rejected the NCAA's claim that the documents in the Florida State case are not public.

Florida law says records are public if they are "received" by a state agency. The NCAA claimed the Florida State documents were not because the school never physically possessed the documents in paper or electronic form.

Instead, the NCAA posted them on a secure read-only Web site that could be accessed by the law firm Florida State had hired for its appeal. School officials also could have gone to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis to take a look at the documents.

Cooper rejected the argument saying that if a party could "see" the documents, they had been officially "received."

AND THEN DICKIE V’S HEAD WILL EXPLODE FOR SURE

ESPN's College Gameday show will come to Duke on March 6 for the final show of the 2009-10 men's basketball season, the network announced. The Blue Devils play host to the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels that evening.

The network will be at different campus sites for eight straight weeks beginning Jan. 16. The show also will visit Clemson on Jan. 23 before Duke's game with the Tigers. The Gameday show features one-hour shows each Saturday at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

IS IT TOO EARLY TO GO BOWLING?

The ACC will have a new bowl partner in 2010, according to the Tampa Tribune. The Sun Bowl has dumped the Big East for the ACC.

The Sun Bowl, which is played in El Paso, Texas, will get the fifth choice in the ACC order, jumping the Charlotte-Nashville-San Francisco cartel.

The bowl lineups have been quietly been shuffling this month, and for the worse for the Big East. It lost its tie-in with the Gator, replaced by the Big Ten, and the Sun Bowl. The Big East did jump in the Big Ten's slot in the Champs Sports.

The Big Ten was dumped by the Alamo Bowl, hence the Gator deal, in favor of the Pac-10, which downgraded its affiliation with the Holiday Bowl. The second Pac-10 choice will now play in San Antonio, instead of San Diego.

Got that? Test on Monday.

The ACC's bowl lineup for 2009 is:
Dec. 26 Emerald San Francisco
Dec. 26 Meineke Charlotte
Dec. 27 Music City Nashville
Dec. 29 EagleBank Washington
Dec. 29 Champs Orlando
Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Atlanta
Jan. 1 Gator Jacksonville, Fla.
Jan. 5 Orange Miami
Jan. 6 GMAC Mobile

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I absolutely love football, I don't absolutely love school."

– Jameel Sewell, UVA quarterback describing how he found himself off of coach Al Groh’s UVA squad last year.

IT’S THE WEEKEND, TIME FOR LOTS OF “LINKS”

Link, link up everybody!

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich.

*Georgia Tech cornerback Mario Butler takes pride in his toughness, and the coaches have noticed.

*Maryland's boosters have ponied-up the cash so the Terps don't have to take the bus.

*At BC, it's no surprise the defense is still ahead of the offense. Fumbles, sacks, drops, you name it. For some, it looks like question marks. For others, it's simply an opportunity.

*Clemson first-year defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has been around the block at a few programs, but the Tigers' defensive line is one of the deepest he's ever seen.

*Miami's defensive ends took another step back with the news that Eric Moncur went to Philly to be examined for pain near his groin. The good news, though, is that Graig Cooper is out of his boot, and Manny Navarro has an interesting update on the infamous Bryce Brown.

*Al Groh hasn't ruled out the possibility of getting Vic Hall and Jameel Sewell on the field together at the same time this fall, but he's not exactly talking about it, either.

*Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams is getting more reps now that Josh Oglesby and Darren Evans are hurt.

*Wake Forest tight end Ben Wooster would like be a little more involved in the passing game, and he's not afraid to try a little osmosis on his roommate to help his cause.

*FSU's defensive line was a little bit undersized last year, but they've added some bulk.
One of the big questions facing Duke is how the Blue Devils will replace star receiver Eron Riley, but as a group, they could have it covered.

*Miami defensive end Adewale Ojomo (#97) had surgery Tuesday morning for a broken jaw and could miss the season opener. Was he sucker punched? There seem to be conflicting reports.

*Tim Tebow? Pshh. He ain't got nothin' on Charlie Ward.

*There's an overall attitude change at Florida State, and the players' are the ones calling the meeting for it.

*Steven Friday is a guy who will come in handy on Saturdays for the Hokies this year.
Georgia Tech safety Cooper Taylor's versatility makes him the perfect wolf.

*When UNC coach Butch Davis talks about turnovers, the team listens. It's a proven formula for winning.

*BC freshman defensive tackle Dillon Quinn is learning as fast as he can, so he can help the Eagles at one of the spots they need it most -- up front. The ideal situation would be to redshirt Quinn, but the staff might not have that luxury.

*NC State will be without third-string tight end Mario Carter for at least the season opener after knee surgery. The Pack is about mid-way through its summer camp, and still looking for answers at a few positions.

*Virginia has one important rule for its receivers: If you don't block, you don't play. Lesson learned for Raynard Horne.

*Wake Forest joined the ACC injury club on Tuesday when receiver Terence Davis went down with a torn ACL. That could provide a way to get Skylar Jones on the field.

*Aside from Jacoby Ford, Clemson's receivers have been an inconsistent group.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

NO LOVE. Kella Rothenberg of Carmel, Ind., holds up a sign about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick during an NFL preseason football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Eagles in Indianapolis, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

GOLF GIRLS. USA Team members (left to right) Morgan Pressel, Kristy McPherson, Beth Daniel (the USA Team Captain), Brittany Lincicome, Paula Creamer and Nicole Castrale during the Opening Ceremony for the 2009 Solheim Cup Matches, at the Rich Harvest Farms Golf Club on August 20, 2009 in Sugar Grove, Ilinois.

(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

LIGHTNING BOLT. Jamaica's Usain Bolt wins the men's 200m final race of the 2009 IAAF Athletics World Championships on August 20, 2009 in Berlin. Jamaican Usain Bolt set a new world record of 19.19 sec in winning the 200m.

(Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

I CAN FLY! American Trey Hardee competes in the pole vault qualifying event of the men's decathlon during the 2009 IAAF Athletics World Championships on August 20, 2009 in Berlin.

(Photo by Antonin Thuillie/AFP/Getty Images)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FINALLY, T.A.H. HAS INSPIRED SOME QUALITY WORK

So some of the home boys down at Virginia Tech have built a website devoted to rating anchors on Sports Center and guess what? It’s funny.

The installment sent T.A.H. was The Expert Debate: Is Hannah Storm Hot?

One of T.A.H.’s prime members T-Mike took the position that Hannah is, in fact, hot while his bro The White Mamba said “nyet” to the whole Storm hotness thing.

These two, and several other experts would have you believe they have an actual system on how they rate the Sport Center anchors called the Sports Center Anchor Rating or SCAR for short. It has something to do with the rhythm sisters – alga or logi – we aren’t sure which.

Here is their explanation: Getting the SCAR Formula is an incredibly scientific process that uses algorithms from String Theory and Quantum Mechanics. The structure of the formula is much like Jenga, where if any one wrong move is made the entire thing comes crumbling down. Years of research and Sportscenter knowledge from The Experts have gone into the Formula, which unequivocally comes up with the best Anchors.

The SCAR has been compared to the BCS by many experts, which is somewhat accurate. The SCAR is exactly like the BCS except it’s not wrong all the time…

We have to give round one to White Mamba, and it has nothing to do with Hannah. T-Mike was funny, but The White Mamba was funnier.

The White Mamba: The camera adds 10 pounds.” This is what you always here about people who are on TV. Being on camera makes you look 10 pounds heavier than you actually are. This would mean that Hannah Storm is pushing about 60 pounds soaking wet (and Sage Steele might actually just be a cardboard cut-out). I’m sorry Hannah but there is no reason you can’t sneak into Chris Berman’s dressing room and take something off the buffet spread he makes his servants keep fully stocked. There’s strike one.

Strike two: Hannah Storm is only hot relative to her environment. Kind of like if she was in the army or the WNBA. But just because I’m used to looking at Kevin Neghandi all day doesn’t mean I will have a tainted perception of how hot The Storm actually is. She is 47 years old, she has really good posture (which can never be trusted), and she looks better now than she did when she was 30. Strikes three, four, and five.

Oh, one more thing, dudes. Tell The Polar Bear that greatness is also impacted by good spelling. He should be “consciuos” of that and fix his profile!

http://scarankings.wordpress.com/

EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN LINK

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich.

*Virginia Tech running back Josh Oglesby (#25) always wanted to be the Hokies' No. 1 tailback, but not at the expense of his teammate, Darren Evans.

*Cline Beam has been one of the surprises of Wake Forest's summer camp, and that's good, because the Deacs need a kicker.

*BC's quarterback situation is still evolving.

*NC State tailback Toney Baker is starting to show that explosiveness he had when he last played in 2007.

*Virginia defensive line coach Chad Wilt isn't an entirely new face on the staff this fall, as he was a GA in 2004 and 2005, but now Wilt is in a position to create a "generational legacy" with the line.

*Miami had a closed scrimmage on Saturday, and coach Randy Shannon spoke about it for the first time on Monday. Save for the backup quarterbacks, it sounds like it went mostly well.

*Donavan Tate's deal with the Padres is reportedly worth $6.25 million. UNC knew there was a strong possibility of the quarterback choosing baseball. And for that amount of cash, who wouldn't?

*FSU's recruiting class of 2007 -- or what's left of it -- isn't pretty.

HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, WOODSTOCK!

I'm goin' down to Yasgur's farm,
gonna join in an uproar there...

Horses graze in front of what was Max Yasgur's barn adjacent to the original site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival which took place on Yasgur's farm in Bethel, N.Y.

Hey, if Brett Favre can come back, why can't Woodstock?

We are stardust,
We are goldust...

PICTURE OF THE DAY

LET'S GO TO THE BEACH. No, the horseraces. No, the beach. OK, how about both?

Horses race along the ocean's edge during the traditional beach race at Sanlucar de Barrameda, near Cadiz, Spain on August 17, 2009.

(Photo by Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

UNI WATCH. Two of the most famous women in the WNBA, Candace Parker #3 and Lisa Leslie #9 of the Los Angeles Sparks walk up court against the Washington Mystics on August 18, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Note their jersey says neither Los Angeles or Sparks, but Farmers - as in sponsor the Farmers Insurance Gourp.


(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

BLUR. American Trey Hardee (front) wins the 100m heat 3 race of the men's decathlon during the 2009 IAAF Athletics World Championships on August 19, 2009 in Berlin.

(Photo by Oliver Lang/AFP/Getty Images)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FAVRE UNRETIRES (AGAIN) SO HE CAN AFFORD NEW NIKE BALL CAP AND A RAZOR

Tired of the "Boxcar Willie" look and the decrepit old Nike ball cap, Brett Favre has decided to return to football for personal hygiene and fashion reasons.

The Vikings will pay Favre $12 million this year and $13 million next season, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The contract does not contain performance bonuses.

THERE'S NO FLOPPING IN FOOTBALL!

According to ESPN, Syracuse is going to start former Duke point guard Greg "Flop" Paulus at quarterback.

Orange head coach Doug Marrone officially named the former Duke basketball player as his starting quarterback on Monday night, even though Paulus has not played football in four years and has never played a collegiate snap.

Paulus, a high school football star who played point guard for the Blue Devils for four years, transferred to Syracuse as a graduate student this spring. Despite having just a week of official practice under his belt, Paulus beat out sophomore Ryan Nassib -- who was named the No. 1 quarterback in the spring -- and senior Cam Dantley, who was last year's starter. His first college football game will be Sept. 5 against Minnesota in the Carrier Dome.

The news that Paulus had won the job was sent out in an official news release late Monday night. Earlier this month, Marrone talked glowingly about how Paulus could handle such an unprecedented transition.

"He has instincts that are hard to teach," Marrone said. "He knows how to look people off, how to take control of the game and how to change plays.

"If you had ever met Greg Paulus, you'd understand and I wouldn't get a lot of the questions that I get," Marrone said. "If something can be accomplished, he can do it."

MONDAY'S ACC LUNCHTIME LINKS

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich.

There wasn't too much to like from BC's quarterbacks in the first scrimmage, leaving coach Frank Spaziani still unsure of who his starter will be this fall.

*BC receiver Clarence Megwa's comeback story has been put on hold, thanks to an injured right hand. The Eagles still have a leader at receiver in Rich Gunnell, who was named captain, making him the first receiver captain in 19 years.

*Clemson coach Dabo Swinney thinks the benefit to keeping C.J. Spiller on special teams outweighs the possibility he might get hurt.

*UNC has some problems on the offensive line, and it's going to force some players to tackle more than one position.

*Virginia's new offensive coordinator was used to being in the spotlight as head coach at Bowling Green. Now Gregg Brandon's role has changed, but it's just as important.

*FSU's receivers could be a lot better than people expected a few months ago. Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel gives a worst case/best case scenario for each player.

*The injury to Georgia Tech backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw is significant enough it could play a role in the Coastal Division race, writes Tony Barnhart.

*Wake Forest might not be ready for Baylor yet, but quarterback Riley Skinner is.

*Former Maryland backup quarterback Josh Portis has found a new home in California, Pa. It might not be the biggest town on the map, but it offers Portis a chance to play.

*Former NC State player Edrick Smith was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

UP AND OVER. Blanka Vlasic of Croatia competes in the women's High Jump Qualification during day four of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium on August 18, 2009 in Berlin, Germany.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? It’s getting closer.

David Carr #8 of the New York Giants leaps over members of the Carolin Panthers in NFL preseason action August 17, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Giants defeated the Panthers 24-17.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

HOPE? Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals agreed to a record contract just before Monday's midnight deadline, a four-year deal that will pay the hard-throwing right-hander slightly more than $15.1 million.

(Photo by Denny Mont flickr.com)

Monday, August 17, 2009

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PROGRAMS IN BIG TROUBLE

Sports Illustrated’s college football issue is out and, to no surprise here at T.A.H., they have Florida State winning the Atlantic and Virginia Tech winning the Coastal. They pick the Hokies to win the Dr. Pepper Bowl in Tampa, December 5. SI also predicts that Miami, UNC, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Clemson and N.C. State will also be bowl eligible.

Relying on conventional wisdom, the mag picks Duke to finish 1-7 in the ACC and 4-8 overall.

A few pages later, SI has a feature called “The Finish” where they rank the top 120 college teams. The top 20 is similar to the poles with Virginia Tech (#5), Georgia Tech (#12), Florida State (#16) and UNC (#20) representing the ACC. SI likes N.C. State at 32, Miami at 36, Clemson at 43, WakerForest 49, Maryland 67, Boston College 71, Virginia 76 and Duke at 78.

So, let’s see what major university’s football programs are facing hard times. Let’s start down in College Station, TX where Texas A&M finds itself ranked behind Duke at #79. Add to the list of underachievers, Louisville 83, Washington 85, SMU 89, Iowa State 90, Hawaii 95, Syracuse 96, Indiana 99 and Washington State 105.

Ouch.

CHEESEBURGER, FRIES, LINKS

Via ESPN.

READ THIS: Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote a great story about Miami walk-on Chris Hayes (#49), who took solace in the support of his teammates when his father died last season.

*Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a different player this year, and that's a good thing for the Hokies' offense.

*With a new helmet and a chin strap, Georgia Tech backup quarterback Jaybo Shaw returned to practice on Thursday after missing time with a concussion.

*Miami's secondary is eager to prove it's better than last year, when the Canes recorded a school-record low four interceptions.

*NC State coach Tom O'Brien doesn't reveal his scrimmage statistics, but Twitter does. Go figure.

*NC State linebacker Nate Irving doesn't remember anything from the crash that prematurely ended his 2009 season.

*Can the ACC get its swagger back? Here's a breakdown of the ACC in predicted order of finish.

*While the ACC and its fans have endured too many offseason stories about players getting hurt this summer, here's an inspiring comeback story about Boston College receiver Clarence Megwa.

*Clemson is still looking for receivers to help out Jacoby Ford, and coach Dabo Swinney said it just might be an effort by committee. (It will also help to get Ford back to practice.)

NORTH CAROLINA VS. NORTH CAROLINA SOLD OUT

Evidently, there are more than 20,000 people willing to pay to see the professional basketball players from the 2005 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championship team play the professional basketball players from the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championship team.

UNC officials have announced that the Tar Heels' professional alumni men's basketball game is, in fact, sold out. Tickets were $20 each.

The game, scheduled for Sept. 4 at the Smith Center, will feature North Carolina's current NBA and other professional alumni. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the UNC Lineberger Cancer Center and the UNC Children's Hospital. The alumni game will begin the school's celebration of the 100th year of its basketball program.

Carolina’s NBA players in 2008-09 included Vince Carter (pictured), Raymond Felton, Brendan Haywood, Antawn Jamison, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Jawad Williams, Marvin Williams, Brandan Wright, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson. All have been invited to play.

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY, DON'T IT?

Y.E. Yang of South Korea celebrates after sinking his putt to win on August 16 ,2009 at the 91st PGA Championship at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

(Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

Toly Hansbrough's FYF Instructional League Colts were back in action this weekend with a season opening scrimmage at one of the local high schools. Returning 14 starters from last year's undefeated team, the Colts looked as strong as ever!

"Student body right" seems to still work as the Colts scored on thier second play. The defense remains stingy.

Go Colts!

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